A Girl from Arizona
A Girl from Arizona Part 2
Tinker, Tailor, Demon, Spy
Employee of the Bearimy
A Chip Driver Mystery
Help Is Other People
The Funeral to End All Funerals
You’ve Changed, Man
Mondays, Am I Right?
Whenever You’re Ready
When The Good Place debuted back in 2016 it brought with it a fresh and unique spin on the traditional sitcom concept, boasting a slew of well-timed and surprising twists along with lovable characters that grew and evolved across the seasons. Like all good sitcoms, there’s a fine line between bowing out on a high and outstaying your welcome and The Good Place walks that tightrope constantly across its final 13 episodes, ending with a decent enough finale but also one that leaves a somewhat hollow feeling given what we’ve seen before over the seasons.
The continuing story picks up where it left off at the end of season 3 with Eleanor and the others beginning their experiment with the four test subjects. Acting as the architect and inundated with problems from the off, the first half of the season sees Eleanor and our familiar ensemble working together to try and turn the fortunes of the four chosen subjects in their favour. From here the season stop/starts its way to the finish line, with a Chidi-flashback episode sandwiched in the middle of the final chapters that see our characters finally coming face to face with their destiny.
The finale is likely going to be a big talking point with this one and it’s easy to see why. In some ways, the show borrows its ideas heavily from Hotel Del Luna, a Korean drama tackling the afterlife last year. There’s a tinge of sadness with this but several times the 50 minute long episode cops out on actually pulling the trigger, leading up to a satisfying enough ending but also one that feels a little underwhelming too.
Given the changing dynamic this year, a lot of the characters don’t shine as brightly as they once did, with Jason and Tahani in particular relying heavily on their usual style of humour but not given an awful lot to do. Having said that, every character does have a finality to their arcs at the end, with Janet arguably coming up short as the only character who doesn’t really get a good send-off at the end. For the most part though, the show does well to keep things ticking along with some well-placed jokes and a couple of final small twists along the way.
Unlike the early seasons however, The Good Place fully embraces its transformation into a dramedy, with a lot of the show turning toward emotion and romance to progress its story rather than laugh out loud slapstick and rapid-fire humour. Of course, the show is still funny and some of the absurdist scenes, including a trained panda serving champagne or a pictionary monster coming to life, garner some good hearty laughs.
Whatever you wind up thinking of the finale, The Good Place bows out its four season run with a victorious final ride, one that’s as bittersweet and poignant as it is enjoyable and humorous. While the show fails to hit the same lofty heights set by the first couple of seasons, The Good Place still has enough gas in the tank to pull out a satisfying victory lap all the same. Whether you end the season feeling like you’ve arrived in the good place or not depends entirely on what sort of ending you’re expecting but one thing’s for sure – there’s not likely to be another sitcom like this in quite some time.
Verdict - 7/10